Facing the Dragon

Sarah was a treasure hunter searching for the most precious heirloom in the world. It was so rare that only ONE existed in the entire Universe. Long ago, she was given information from a wise guru that she was the only soul who could retrieve this treasure. He told her that it was impossible to move from its resting place unless her hands touched it. She knew this was her destiny, and it became her life long mission to find it. It was rumored that dragons sometimes attack people who search for such treasures, so she was wearing a large, heavy suit of armor to protect herself. Even though it was cumbersome and uncomfortable, she wore the armor just in case she came across any fire-breathing dragons.

Finally, after many years of searching, her journey was nearly complete. Just ahead through a narrow passageway, she could see the heirloom waiting to be discovered! She could hardly contain her excitement until she realized the difficult choice she had to make. In order to retrieve it, she would have to take off her armor to fit through the passageway. The opening was so narrow that there was no way to squeeze through it with the armor on. But of course the dragon could be waiting on the other side protecting the treasure. What a predicament for her! Without the armor she could be badly burned or maybe even killed by the dragon. Yet, she wanted this treasure more than anything. What should she do? What would you do?

More often than not, we choose to play it safe and not take the risk (at least I do). We may rationalize this decision and convince ourselves that we really didn’t want the heirloom anyway. Or we may stand in front of the passage with our armor on for days, weeks, even years, feeling a tremendous yearning or inner conflict that will not subside. We really want it but we are afraid to go get it. What if we’re not capable? What if we fail? What if we are not worthy to receive it?

This dilemma is representative of arriving at a growing edge, when we are striving for something important in our lives. And standing there at that growing edge it becomes apparent that we will have to take a “risk” in order to proceed forward. Whether we want to attract more wealth, find a life partner, move into a new career/vocation, create a work of art, or whatever it may be, it is important to recognize that the goal or accomplishment we are seeking is NOT the heirloom. The actual heirloom is the new self that we must allow to emerge and express itself in the world. In other words, the real reason to strive for goals and accomplishments is to transform into a greater version of ourselves—to become (or realize) the person who can achieve it. The armor is the old self that we are afraid to shed, so we often just keep holding on to it. We believe that armor protects us and keeps us safe, but we cannot become the greater version of ourselves while still holding on to the old self.

But on rare occasions, usually when we just can’t stand to feel stuck anymore, we gather the courage to take off that armor and go through the passage. When we finally make it to the other side to retrieve that most precious treasure, we come face to face with that guardian dragon we feared so much, and it turns out to be a tiny lizard that couldn’t hurt a fly (well, actually they eat flies but you get my drift).

What is the greater version of you (the treasure) that wants to come forth and shine through? Are you ready to let go of that armor to make space for your greatness to blossom?

Steven SmithComment